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On today’s episode of the Craft Industry Alliance podcast we’re talking about building a lifelong career in sewing with my guest, Nancy Zieman.

Nancy Zieman is an author, designer, businesswomen, TV producer, blogger and national sewing authority. She’s the host of the popular show Sewing With Nancy®, which appears exclusively on public television stations across the United States and Canada. You can watch Sewing With Nancy® online at nancyzieman.com.

Sewing With Nancy® is a co-production of Wisconsin Public Television and Nancy Zieman Productions. Broadcast since September 1982, the program is the longest-airing sewing series on television. Nancy organizes each show in a how-to format, concentrating on step-by-step instructions.

Nancy has written numerous how-to sewing and quilting books, and released her autobiography, Seams Unlikely (affiliate link), in 2013. She designs patterns for the New York-based McCall Pattern Company, designs sewing and quilting products for Clover Needlecraft, Inc., designs fabric collections with Riley Blake Designs, and also writes an interactive blog at nancyzieman.com/blog.

In addition, Nancy is founder of Nancy’s Notions®, a division of Tacony Corporation. The company publishes the Nancy’s Notions® Catalog, a full color catalog containing hundreds of products including sewing books, notions, videos and DVDs, fabrics, and quilting products. Nancy is also the National Spokesperson for Baby Lock sewing machines and Nancy’s Notions®.

Nancy lives in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, with her husband, Richard. The couple has two children and three grandchildren.

  If you’ve never watched Sewing with Nancy, here’s a taste of the show.

We begin in the fall of 1982 when Nancy was just getting ready to film the first episode of Sewing with Nancy and trace the development of Nancy’s career. Learn how Nancy thinks about the show’s mission and get a look at what happens behind-the-scenes. Nancy describes herself as a private and reserved person and she explains how she overcomes this in order to be in front of the camera.

Nancy talks about her decision to talk openly about having Bell’s palsy on the show and how it became the springboard for writing her memoir.

Hear how Nancy founded Nancy’s Notions from her kitchen table. This was at a time before there were 1-800 numbers. The company was founded via direct mail and Nancy collected addresses on index cards which her secretary entered on Avery labels which they mimeographed. Hear how the business grew exponentially since its humble beginnings and why Nancy decided to sell the business a few years ago.

We end by talking about how Nancy sees the future of the home sewing industry.

And, of course, ask Nancy to recommend great stuff she’s enjoying right now. Nancy recommends:

Keep up with Nancy on her blog.


Storey Publishing

Today’s episode is sponsored by Storey Publishing. Storey Publishing offers quality books on crafting, gardening, natural health and wellness, cooking, and sustainable living. Their quilting, sewing, and fiber craft books are some of my favorites. Storey’s expert craft authors include recent Craft Industry Alliance guest and QuiltCon presenter Thomas Knauer, author of The Quilt Design Coloring Workbook. You can all get a free downloadable quilt design coloring template from the book on Storey’s website.


You can listen to this episode by clicking on the green arrow below, or subscribe to the Craft Industry Alliance podcast in iTunes or on Stitcher so you never miss an episode. If you enjoy the show, tell a friend about it! Thank you so much.

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